3 Keys to Customer Satisfaction: Speed, Efficiency, Knowledge

By: Jeff Hatch

July 24, 2017

Customers want fast service or support from knowledgeable people where, when and how they prefer to receive it, based on results of a study the CMO Council published Tuesday.

Together with SAP Hybris, the CMO Council last year conducted an online survey of 2,000 respondents, equally divided between men and women. Fifty percent were in the United States, and 25 percent each resided in Canada and Europe.

Among the findings:

52 percent mentioned fast response time as a key attribute of an exceptional customer experience;

47 percent said knowledgeable staff, ready to assist whenever and wherever needed, was key;

38 percent wanted an actual person to speak with at any time and place;

38 percent wanted information when and where they needed it;

9 percent wanted brand-developed social communities; and

8 percent wanted always-on automated services.

Consumers have a shortlist of critical channels they expect to have access to, the survey found, including the company's website, email, a phone number, and a knowledgeable person to speak with.

"The mindsets of consumers -- whether B2B or B2C -- are shifting, said Liz Miller, SVP of marketing at the CMO Council.

Marketers "have to start asking, 'Are we set up to be a responsive organization that looks at data, looks at analytics, understands what's coming in through CRM and is able to reflect that back through all touchpoints, including physical ones, quickly? Or are we simply waiting to react?'" she told CRM Buyer.

Serve Us Well or Die!

Angry customers hurt brands. The survey identified the following behaviors:

47 percent of respondents said they would stop doing business with a brand if they were continually frustrated;

33 percent were annoyed because of slow service or dealing with reps who knew nothing about their past history or purchases;

32 percent said they would email a company to complain; and

29 percent said they would tell their family and friends about their bad experience.

That's a possibility that Warrantech, which provides extended service plans and warranties nationwide, is well aware of.

The company on Tuesday announced a partnership with mobile workforce management ServicePower, which will let it instantly connect customers who have service needs with available repair technicians.

"Prompt response time is critical in our line of business," said Brian Weaver, director of service operations at Warrantech.

The teamup is expected to reduce overall customer turnover time by up to 10 percent across all verticals and "ultimately translate into commensurate lifts in clients' sales and customer retention," he told CRM Buyer.

The Customer Wish Conundrum

One problem marketers face is that customers appear to have conflicting desires, as shown by the survey results:

36 percent of respondents were angry about not being recognized for their loyalty;

12 percent wanted companies to recognize their history with the brand at any touchpoint;

10 percent wanted multiple touchpoints; and

23 percent felt they were being followed online.

That poses a conundrum for marketers.

"This survey did indicate the respondents wanted knowledgeable staff -- and for that, I'd argue part of the knowledge is knowing about the customer, not just the product, so that the advice can directly address the customer's unique problem," said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.

"Knowing about the customer improves the quality of the engagement," he told CRM Buyer.

That said, consumers don't care how companies do what they do -- they only care about the results, the CMO Council's Miller noted.

"It's a sausage factory. Consumers don't care how you make them, they just want tasty sausage. At the end of the day, consumers want to be treated like persons," she said.

"Each firm needs to survey their own customers, assess the impact and costs of changes, then formulate a strategy that applies uniquely to them," Enderle suggested. "Some may find that the cost/benefit ratio is still better with automation." 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Richard Adhikari has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2008. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, mobile technologies, CRM, databases, software development, mainframe and mid-range computing, and application development. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including Information Week and Computerworld. He is the author of two books on client/server technology. 

Filed Under: Consumer, satisfaction, service, ServicePower, Warrantech

Is Your Extended Service Plan Program Fully Supported?

By: Jeff Hatch

February 01, 2017

Having an extended service plan program that fits your business model is important. But it’s just one piece of the puzzle. Have you considered how your program is supported? Without the proper infrastructure, it might not be as effective as it could be. Making sure your customers are taken care of is as essential as the contents of a well-designed service contract and vital to the overall success of your business.

At Warrantech, we continuously strive to improve the quality of service provided to all customers. We believe that quality has to be the foundation of everything that we do and everything that we represent. To us, customer service is not just a team or a process, it does not have a starting point or an ending point – it is part of the culture in everything we touch.

To bolster this approach, Warrantech employs a dedicated Quality Assurance Department that reports directly to our Call Center Director, identifying strengths and weaknesses, and effectively managing the workforce to optimize service delivery. This department serves as the foundation for our call center as they monitor all personnel on a daily basis and provide performance feedback on: 

Professionalism 

Customer interaction 

Procedural adherence 

Claims adjudication 

System usage 

System documentation 

Call lengths 

We also make sure that customer service is readily available. Customers can file claims through a dedicated toll-free phone number, email, web chat or Claims360, our proprietary online platform. We even support mail and faxed claims as well. 

To handle escalated customer issues and complaints, we have created a Presidential Team. This team, which is located within the call center, maintains a close relationship with each of our partners, the Account Manager(s) and executive teams. Their task is to work with a client in the event of an escalation to ensure the best possible service. This team receives referrals from the call center associates, direct from our clients, from executive escalations and from all forms of social media. 

Any customer who seeks to speak to a supervisor or is contacting us for the same issue on more than one occasion is immediately transferred to the Presidential Team. These associates are equipped with advanced customer service training and problem resolution and have the full power and authority to make the appropriate decision by working with the client to ensure that together we are achieving customer satisfaction. The Presidential Team member owns the service experience through completion and documents every aspect of the resolution. 

The information that is recorded by the Presidential Team is reviewed monthly by call center management and Warrantech executive management, as well as the training department to identify process and procedure improvements needed to avoid future escalations. Supervisors use the feedback from the Presidential Team in their weekly meetings and individual coaching sessions with their associates. This approach creates a customer who is not only satisfied with the outcome of the transaction, but a customer who walks away from the experience with a positive outlook on the service contract, Warrantech and, most importantly, our clients. 

 Warrantech Support Process At A Glance 

  • Every customer contact is recorded and stored

  • Appropriate staffing levels are maintained and based on program, time, date and SLAs

  • Unique telephone numbers and websites are utilized for each client

  • IVR is used to appropriately route calls based on program, contact type, etc.

  • IVR provides contact center associates with customer information prior to transfer

  • OEM and/or partner calls can be immediately routed to the appropriate entity

  • All customer contacts are monitored in real time to ensure that all service-level agreements are met

Visit warrantech.com or give us a call at 800.833.8801 to learn more about how we can support your business.

Filed Under: customers, quality, satisfaction, service, support, Warrantech